Mason Jars

A poem by Arlin Buyert.

Early in May,

when frost had warmed,

King and Kernel pulled the disc, again and again,

over our half-acre garden plot

pitched between our farm house and the orchard.

Wood stakes, sledged home by Dad and

harnessed by taut twine that shadowed

straight rows thirty-six inches apart,

the garden was planted with beets, 

carrots, green beans and tomatoes, 

all imprisoned in tall hog-wire cages.

Later in August,

apples falling, tomatoes turning,

corn tassels dusting,

beets and carrots toiling,

all prompted Mom to boil five-hundred quart jars

in time for the holy harvest.

Beets and their dirt partners were blanched,

sliced and spooned through a funnel

perched atop the jar. 

We listened to their popping lids 

into the night as they waited for their journey

to our earthen cellar where they rested

on wood shelves until suppertime

come winter.